Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf resigned from his post on Monday with the opposition set on prosecuting him. He came to power in a military coupe in 1999, became a key strategic ally of the United States, and was a strong supporter of their war on terror. Musharraf abandoned Pakistan’s support of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan and declared the country in a state of emergency last fall. General Ashfaq Kayani, who warned Musharraf not to manipulate the results of the presidential elections held in February, has been an essential figure in giving the Pakistani army a more democratic role and a better reputation worldwide.
The Hindu newspaper states that the new civilian government has done “little to change Musharraf’s policies in the troubled northwest regions bordering Afghanistan.” The coalition government will retain close ties to Washington and continue its support of the international fight against Islamic extremism. According to Shafqat Mahmood, a former minister and political analyst, Pakistan’s problems do not end with Musharraf’s resignation and the essential problems remain unsolved: the northwest of the country lives in state of constant violence and the economy is faltering.
According to Guardian correspondent Jason Burke, civilian leaders will not be able to put an end to militant attacks in the northwest of the country just as they are not ready to solve the structural problems that are causing these attacks. Mohammed Mian Soomoro, Chairman of the upper House of Parliament, will serve as caretaker president until new elections are held. As for Musharraf, he remains open to prosecution as long as he remains in Pakistan.